Plastics News - Show Daily - October 24, 2022 - 36

36 * Plastics News, October 24, 2022
Kraiburg CEO Oliver
Zintner: " We do not
need to reinvent
the wheel every
time, in every
region. ... If one
market is ahead
of another, we can
use that to pull
the other markets
along with us. "
Plastics News photo by
Caroline Seidel
SHOW DAILY
KRAIBURG
Hall 6,
Booth C58-03
Kraiburg seeks 'the right
quality of recycling program'
By Andrew Schunk
Rubber News
For Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co.
KG, the sustainability of its custom-engineered
materials is journey
with a destination.
And while the thermoplastic
elastomer, vulcanizate and polyurethane
supplier is not at the endpoint
of circularity yet, it is a good
distance from the starting line.
The Waldkraiburg, Germany-based
company is helping
push the industry toward that
end, arriving at K 2022 with a new
portfolio of sustainable TPEs for
the consumer, industrial and automotive
spaces in hand.
Thermolast R, like many of Kraiburg's
products, includes varying
degrees of recycled materials -
up to 41 percent in some cases -
all with equal performance characteristics
to the materials that
put the supplier on the map in the
fi rst place.
" Thermolast R combines a lot
of things we've been working on
for the past 16 months and, in a
way, it stands for the transformation
[Kraiburg] has undergone
for some time now, " said Monika
Hofman, director of Europe, Middle
East and Asia for Kraiburg.
" We distance ourselves deliberately
from consistently high values
- the focus is on the fact that
in terms of a sustainable plastic,
we've continuously ... developed
in a transparent, honest way and
closely to customers' needs. "
The company caters to customer
needs, indeed, but also to its customers'
geography. Using recyclates
sourced from the communities it
serves is the only way Kraiburg can
meet its sustainability goals.
" The biggest challenge for us,
and I think for everyone using
plastic materials, is to fi nd the
right sources, " Kraiburg CEO Oliver
Zintner said. " The plastic recycling
industry has existed for
many years. But for high-quality
applications - as has been the
trend over the last year - the
whole industry is looking for the
right sources, the right quality of
recycling program.
" We are keeping an open eye,
always looking for partnerships
and colleagues in this regard.
And the notion of [geographic]
proximity within each market is
still important. "
Kraiburg typically offers TPEs
containing anywhere between 20
percent and more than 40 percent
recycled content, depending on
the specifi c material.
Partnerships play a critical role
for Kraiburg in engineering the
materials, and choosing the right
recycling source is critical.
" In principle this can be more
challenging, " Zintner said. " Our
goals for sustainability only exist
due to our partnerships, with our
sources and suppliers as well as
customers. We cannot do it alone. "
Kraiburg provides its customers
with " proof of recycling " for
its high density polyethylenes
and polypropylenes, ensuring
that its products " adhere to customer
requirements, " according
to Alberto Oba, sales and marketing
director for the Americas.
And where Kraiburg products
are sold matters. Typically the
regulatory bar is set much higher
in Europe than in North America,
" with the exception of California, "
Zintner said.
" From a European perspective,
what we see on the legislation
side is more demanding, " Zintner
said. " In Asia, it is more business-driven.
But Europe is kind
of leading the way with different
recyclable classes. "
Oba added that sustainability is
a journey.
" The Americas may be a little
behind Europe ... but [the] trend
is there, " he said.
One particular market, adhesion,
presents both a potential
problem and a potential opportunity
for Kraiburg in TPEs, as the
material must be " proved out "
with a certifi ed institute.
" And we are quite proud we realized
this fi rst, " Zintner said.
But Kraiburg is not naïve to the
hurdles moving forward as the
world looks toward circularity.
" Recycled materials have been
in use for many years, " Zintner
said. " This is closer to the start
of a journey for us as we work
continuously to improve existing
materials by using more and more
recycled materials to develop
compounds in that direction.
" We do not need to reinvent the
wheel every time, in every region,
on the sales and research and development
sides. If some solutions
are developed from a strategic
standpoint, that is part of our goal
as well. If one market is ahead of
another, we can use that to pull
the other markets along with us. "
In order of overall market share,
Kraiburg serves the automotive,
industrial, consumer product and
medical
markets, respectively,
with its products.
" One of our basic strategic principles
is that we do business in a
wide range of markets, " Zintner
said. " We don't want to be dependent
on any one single industry. "
Other materials the company is
highlighting at K 2022 include an
RC and UV series that meet the
requirements of automotive exteriors,
such as weathering resistance,
and contain a minimum of 20 percent
and a maximum of post-industrial
recycling waste; an automotive
interior TPE that acts as a " reliable
and sustainable alternative compared
to standard materials " and
contains up to 38 percent recycled
material; and a universal post-consumer
TPE that is tailored to meet
consumer and industry applications
and contains up to 41 percent
post-consumer recyclate.
In addition to sustainable solutions
at the world's largest plastic
and rubber exposition, Kraiburg
is focusing on TPEs " with a certain
added value " such as thermal
or electrically conductive characteristics;
tactile traits that make
products smooth to the touch;
and TPEs that maintain a high resistance
for the cosmetic fi eld.
A NEW
EXHIBITION AND
CONFERENCE
FOR THE
POLYURETHANE
INDUSTRY
COMING TO SINGAPORE IN NOVEMBER 2024
To fi nd out more, contact Matt Barber at mabarber@crain.com / +44 (0)7739 302081.
Organised by:
GLOBAL POLYMER GROUP
@UTECH_PU
CONNECT WITH US:
UTECH Polyurethane
#UTECHSoutheastAsia

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 24, 2022

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